PENANG, Malaysia — Roi Sumang buried a three-pointer with .8 of a second left to lift Blackwater to a 77-75 win over Zhejiang Chouzhou Commercial Bank-China in the 2016 Penang Chief Minister Cup International Basketball Invitational Championships on Sunday at the Han Chiang Indoor Stadium.
Sumang, acquired from GlobalPort in a trade by the Elite last month, took an inbound pass from Art dela Cruz with three ticks left before launching the top-of-the-key trey against Lu Wenbo, sparking a wild celebration from the motley Filipino contingent when it swished the net.
Lai Junhao’s own desperation three from the corner did not even hit the rim, allowing the Elite to book their third win in as many starts.
Despite its gritty win over the tournament top favorite, Blackwater still needs to beat Karnataka State-India (1-2) and the Malaysia Dragons (2-0) to win the championship outright.
“Swerte at sipag, yun yung kailangan natin at sabi ko nga kanina, laban lang tayo, ganun lang ginawa namin, nag-pursige kami,” said Blackwater coach Leo Isaac.
“Pinilit namin makipag-katawanan sa mga big men nila and true enough, nagkaroon kami ng winning line going to the final seconds of the game and again, si Roi Sumang, talagang pinakita niya what he’s capable of doing.”
For a while, the Chinese seemed poised for the win as Carlo Lastimosa muffed two foul shots with 21.2 seconds to go and Zhejiang Chouzhou ahead by a hairline, 75-74.
But Blackwater got the much-needed break when Chinese sharpshooter Wu Qian muffed his own pair of free throws off a Lastimosa foul, setting the stage for Sumang’s endgame heroics.
Reil Cervantes led the Elite with 13 points and seven rebounds, backup big man Kyle Pascual added nine points and seven boards while playing a big role in limiting the 7-foot-1 Chinese slotman Zhang Dayu to just six points and five rebounds.
James Sena also contributed all eight of his points in the last quarter.
Blackwater 77– Cervantes 13, Sumang 12, Pascual 9, Sena 8, Lastimosa 7, Bulawan 6, Dela Cruz 5, Gamalimda 4, Canada 4, Erram 2, Tiongson 1.
Zhejiang Chouzhou 75 – Wu Qian 26, Xia Yubo 14, Lai Junhao 10, Deng Yuzin 9, Zhang Dayu 6, Zhang Yong Peng 6, Lu Wenbo 4, Liu Fengbo 0
Quarters: 18-23, 40-36, 56-63, 77-75.